Tuesday: Hili dialogue

September 17, 2019 • 6:30 am

It’s Tuesday, September 17, 2019, and National Apple Dumpling Day, National Table Shuffleboard Day (whatever that is). It’s also Constitution Day in America, marking the date in 1787 when delegates to Philadelphia’s Constitutional Convention signed the founding document that set up the government.

Posting will be light today as I must go downtown to the dentist and to get my camera tuned up for Antarctica. As usual, I do my best.

News of the day: Everyone is wondering if Gary Larson will return with some new Far Side cartoons based on this link to his website. I was a big fan, so I hope so, but it’s not yet clear what this means:

Stuff that happened on September 17 includes:

This was the first verification of the existence of bacteria (he’d detected protozoa earlier). Here’s what one of his simple but effective microscopes looked like:

  • 1787 – The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.
  • 1849 – American abolitionist Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery.

The first photo is of Tubman in 1885. She was designated to be on the US$20 bill, but in 2017 this was put on hold by the Treasury Secretary.  Below you can see the bill’s prototype:

  • 1859 – Joshua A. Norton declares himself “Norton I, Emperor of the United States.”
  • 1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge, who becomes the first airplane fatality.
  • 1925 – Frida Kahlo suffers near-fatal injuries in a bus accident in Mexico, causing her to abandon her medical studies and take up art

Her taking up art was fortuitous, as she became one of the greatest artists of our time and a personal favorite. But she had a rough life, with her painful injuries and repeated (botched) surgeries combined with her husband’s infidelities. She died at only 47. A Kahlo painting, “Self portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird” [1940; note monkey and CAT]

  • 1940 – World War II: Due to setbacks in the Battle of Britain and approaching autumn weather, Hitler postpones Operation Sea Lion. [The plan to invade the UK.]
  • 1954 – The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is first published.
  • 1978 – The Camp David Accords are signed by Israel and Egypt.
  • 1980 – After weeks of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, the nationwide independent trade union Solidarity is established.
  • 2011 – Occupy Wall Street movement begins in Zuccotti Park, New York City.
  • 1983 – Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.

Notables born on this day include:

  • 1825 – Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar II, American jurist and politician, 16th United States Secretary of the Interior (d. 1893)
  • 1859 – Billy the Kid, American gunman (d. 1881)
  • 1883 – William Carlos Williams, American poet, short story writer, and essayist (d. 1963)
  • 1907 – Warren E. Burger, American lawyer and judge, 15th Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1995)
  • 1923 – Hank Williams, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1953)
  • 1935 – Ken Kesey, American novelist, essayist, and poet (d. 2001)
  • 1944 – Reinhold Messner, Italian mountaineer and explorer
  • 1968 – Cheryl Strayed, American author

Notables who went to the Great Beyond on September 17 were few; they include:

  • 1621 – Robert Bellarmine, Italian cardinal and saint (b. 1542)
  • 1858 – Dred Scott, American slave (b. 1795)
  • 1993 – Willie Mosconi, American pool player and actor (b. 1913)
  • 1996 – Spiro Agnew, American soldier and politician, 39th Vice President of the United States (b. 1918)

Mosconi, a great pool player, was also famous for his trick shots. Here he is, along with others, doing some amazing shots:

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is engaged in her most frequent activity: begging for noms:

A: Why are you looking at me like that?
Hili: Because I suspect that your hands are empty.
In Polish:
Ja: Czemu tak na mnie patrzysz?
Hili: Bo podejrzewam,. że masz puste ręce.

A groaner from Amazing Things (it’s probably not a true story, but it’s funny).

From Merilee, a patchwork calico:

This is the what to do with monuments to people or causes that we now find repugnant. Let us remind ourselves that we’re better than people were not (and they’ll be better than us in the future); let us not efface our past. From AJC Get Schooled:

DeKalb County installed a plaque this week in front of a Confederate monument in Decatur Square that it could not remove.  DeKalb County commissioners tried to move the controversial 30-foot-tall obelisk, but state law made that pretty much impossible. The inscription on the obelisk is a tribute to both those who served in the Confederate Army and the cause they championed. It states that the Confederates defending slavery “were of a covenant keeping race who held fast to the faith as it was given by the fathers of the Republic.”  In March, commissioners approved the installation of a marker that would add historical context about why the monument existed in the first place. It went up this week. Here it is [click to enlarge]:

We’re down to the last three tweets that Grania sent me. This one translates to “Beautiful flowers.” Indeed!

Two tweets from Heather Hastie. You can find anything on the internet: Want to see a chameleon chasing soap bubbles? Not a problem.

Snoop Katt:


The rest of the tweets are from Matthew. The first shows a badly spoiled ape:

I’m sure you can understand the French below:

I wonder if birds will use this box; it’s very protected!

Well, all rivers gotta start somewhere:

And this is a lovely sight:


50 thoughts on “Tuesday: Hili dialogue

  1. I made my trip to the dentist yesterday so best of luck with that one. Lots of very good pool players today, mostly from other parts of the world. The Philippines seems to have their share with Epren Reyes being one that comes to mind.

  2. I like the way Mosconi keeps saying ‘this shot is easy’. Easy for him perhaps! Incidentally, why does he keeping tapping down on the balls with the cue ball when he is setting up the tricks?

    1. It’s called tapping the balls 🙂

      [1] In setup shots where balls need to exactly touch [not the slightest gap] tapping makes a ‘divot’ & it pins the tapped ball exactly in place by denting the felt slightly.

      [2] Also, if you require balls to have a gap between, you can be sure they don’t roll when you take your hand away also by tapping, the ball may roll fractionally otherwise because it’s sitting on chalk dust or on the lip of some previous divot

      [3] If your trick shot fails due to a position error you can recreate the important positions exactly as before [because you tapped those in to the table’s ‘memory’] & then adjust from there so the trick succeeds on the rerun.

      [4] In the triangular racking area there will already be a moonscape of invisible divots from the many previous rackings, so if your setup is in that area, your newly tapped divot overrides the old ones.

      [5] There’s also artifice involved in the tapping you don’t get to see. The trick shooter will go to the table before the exhibition & tap in carefully measured positional divots ahead of time!

        1. Particularly if you use a right-hand tap on a left-hand ball.
          It took me years to work out why these were called “Eee-Zed Outs”. And when my uncle – a time-served fitter – saw them in my tool-box he warned me strongly against ever trying to use them. As the old joke about directions in Ireland would put it, “How do I get out of this situation?” “If I were you, I wouldn’t get into this situation.”

  3. Gary Larson’s “coming soon” message – “fud” I think means something rather different in the U.K. I have no idea what a cat fud is in the U.S.

        1. So it’s an acronym? Thanks for the info Michael, you truly wonderful, affable type.

          Seriously though, I googled it and could only find ‘fud: Scottish slang for women’s genitals’. And although I know a fair bit of Scottish slang(I used to live next door to an off-license) I’ve never heard that word before.

          1. You’ve not heard of people in the UK saying “see you next Tuesday” as a polite reference to the Scottish fud? 🙂

            1. And all I came up with was “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”, the old sales strategy used by IBM when it came to computers in business.

              1. I saw that too. I’d never heard of that either though.

                My favourite acronym is from Ricky Gervais’s Extras, where a big, blustering, faux-macho actor swears blind to Ricky that SAS stands for ‘Super Army Soldiers’.

            2. I don’t know if you noticed but the first para contains a friendly jab in acronym form. So I know c u next Tuesday.

              But I thought you were saying that fud was a kind of acronym, like c u next Tuesday, or like norwich or fubar. I didn’t get that you were saying it actually means a lady’s…field of dreams.

      1. fud – “Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt”.

        What Micro$$oft notoriously used to use as standard procedure any time one of their marks, errm, customers showed any signs of using Netscape, or Linux, or any other competing product.

        But far from a Microsoft monopoly (using FUD, that is)


    1. I’m from the UK and I’ve lived here all my life. I have no idea what you are talking about.

      While the word “fud” in the cartoon is clearly a humorous mis-spelling of “food”, I have absolutely no idea what else it might mean in British English. The only other meaning I have ever heard for it is as an acronym of “fear, uncertainty and doubt”.

  4. Chameleon popping bubbles: The original recording of Laura the chameleon [2015-2018] is longer & better, although I did wonder why she’s using her hands to ‘pop’ bubbles rather than her tongue – doesn’t make sense. She doesn’t think the bubbles are food or she’d use her tongue, nor a threat [she’d colour change & hunker down], so I think she’s trying to grab what she thinks of as swaying branches above her.

    I am betting she can’t see close objects well [same as cats] as her independent eyes are tuned for insect food between one & two body lengths away [her max. tongue range is two body lengths acc to Wiki].


    And Here’s Ed Yong on why van Leeuwenhoek’s single lens microscope had such great magnification compared to compound microscopes of the time [invented 50 years before]:


  5. 1883 – William Carlos Williams, American poet, short story writer, and essayist (d. 1963)

    William Carlos Williams was a physician before he was a writer. There’s a collection of his writings based on that experience, The Doctor Stories, including a famous short story, “The Use of Force,” that’s difficult to forget once you’ve ever read it.

    1. the photogravure sections of the Sunday papers.

      Oh, what a … mellifluous phrase!


      I hear the sound of gravediggers, digging. That’s a delight of microbiology which the anti-vaxx people have forgotten about.
      That’s a good story. The understated tone of near-hysterical fear of a terrible disease is very well pitched.

  6. Lightly tapping on the ball kind of sets it exactly where he wants it. Player will do that sometimes when setting up a trick.

  7. Although I’ve never heard it called ‘table shuffleboard,’ just shuffleboard, it’s a great game, usually (like darts) played in taverns. It features a long (don’t know how long)beautifully-crafted, thick wooden laminate, about 1.5 to 2.0 feet wide. This is the board, which is kept very slick by regular sweeping off and reapplying some kind of sandy or sawdusty wax. Two players, each with 5 metal-and-plastic pucks. In turn, players hand-push their pucks toward the far end of the table, trying to get them as close to the end without any dropping off (or falling off the sides of the board). Scoring: 1-4 for each puck, depending on depth.

    1. There is – or was – a British pub game of the same genre called “shove ha’penny” with generally similar rules but much less elaborate equipment.
      Take a table – as smooth or as rough as you like, why not use the one you’re sitting at.
      Take a pencil. Or a knife, whatever is to-hand. On the table draw or gouge a line parallel (or squint) to one edge.
      Each player places a half-penny coin – their stake – protruding over the edge of the table, then tries strikes it with the heel of their hand towards the line.
      Each player repeats.
      The winner is the one whose coin (stake) is most close to central across the line. Winner takes all. Next round.

      These decades, you’d play it with ten-penny pieces up to £2 coins, when it starts to add up to relatively interesting stakes.
      It’s not uncommon to seat yourself at a table in an old pub and find a board gouged into the wood, then have to educate the younger generations about the game.
      I’ve seen concentric circles gouged into tables similarly, and infer a local variation along “curling” or “bowls” rules.

      My evil mind has thought up a modern variant for the iGeneration. Place your iThing at the edge of a table and hit it with a hammer ; winner is the on who wails loudest. The App is advert-free and is not available in any for-profit application store. An Android version is available from the same sources.

  8. It appears that the county government wanted to remove the Confederate statue but the Tennessee (an arch red state) state government passed a law forbidding it. The plaque was the next best thing that the county government could do. It was a smart move. I wonder how long it will be before it is defaced. My position, stated many times before, is that removing Confederate statues from public property is no more effacing history than the removal of Nazi symbols from Germany. But, if the statues must remain, the counter-narrative plaques can do some good. I just hope they are read.

    1. Odd that the county was overruled on removing the monument considering it is at the county court house. The thing was not put there until 1996 about 131 years since the civil war. Old habits die hard. At least it is not a statue of Tennessee’s favorite son, Nathan Bedford Forrest.

      1. Not odd at all if you recognize the fact that southern legislatures echo the national pattern of VERY conservative, white-dominated representatives from rural/small town constituencies dictating that the more liberal, socially and relisiously diverse cities MAY NOT remove these trophies to the “lost cause”. As much as the local citizens may wish them to be gone.

        1. Right — during the Jim Crow era, when the south was coming to realize that “Massa was [indeed] in the cold cold ground” and antebellum life was truly a “lost cause.” This and other statues like it were not erected in the immediate aftermath of the war to glorify fallen soldiers, nor were they erected with the subversive subjextual load that the murals in San Francisco possess. This was all about the lost culture of human bondage mourned by the next generation. Who gives a f* about preserving such Stephen Foster, KKK sentimentality — not I.

    2. The only complaint I have about this plaque is that it is too damn wordy. Someone woke wrote it (the rhetorical crap is obvious) and they do love to lecture. I’m giving it a month before it is vandalized.

    3. Better a plaque to explain that peoples views change over time, than the presentism (eg. Those in the past knew/understood what we know to be true now, the reason they acted different is because they were wicked.) usually espoused by the Woke.

      There is a well worth reading post on the Emerging Civil War blog which quotes Ursula leGuin on ‘Huckleberry Finn’ that covers this issue.


        1. As an almost dual American Canuck, I always have to stop for a minute to remember that here in Canada red is good and in the US it’s “bad”.

  9. That ‘turkey’ joke has its ancestry in this classic, I think:

    Nervous passenger: Do these ships sink very often?

    Steward (reassuringly): No ma’am, only once.


    1. I wonder what happened to the wreckage of the Herald of Free Enterprise?
      Oh. It nearly sank a second time in the Bay of Biscay when it’s tow rope parted. It started to fall apart off South Africa needing more repairs, and was finally scrapped in Taiwan. Call me suspicious, but a tow to Taiwan for scrapping rather than the cheaper graveyards in India makes me suspect that someone was hoping the wreck could be repaired, re-badged and sold on.
      Lots of ships sink multiple times. I spent the immediate run-up to the “turn of the millennium” looking at the wreck buoy of the Piper Alpha from the deck of the Piper Bravo, before returning to my duty station for the Millennium Bug watch.

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